ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The 203rd Royal St. John's Regatta will go ahead this year after the COVID-19 pandemic kept rowers away from the lake last summer, but the event will be a completely different experience for spectators.
Board president Bradley Power says the day of races will proceed the first Wednesday in August on Quidi Vidi Lake as long as weather permits, as is the long-standing tradition.
Power told reporters today the garden party alongside the lake, which attracts tens of thousands of people for games of chance and food stalls, will be cancelled this year in order to keep the event safe during the pandemic.
He says he and the Regatta team are asking spectators to stay home and tune in to the live broadcast of the races.
The Royal St. John's Regatta bills itself as the oldest organized sporting event in North America and says the first record of organized rowing races in St. John's was in 1816.
Power says the last time the race had to be cancelled was in 1940, during the Second World War.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2021.
The Canadian Press